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How I have got hooked for life... part 2.

My story and journey as a holistic home designer

When I started to write down my interior design journey I had no idea I would go that deep into the details and it would be this long. But the memories just started flooding so here I go again - the 2nd part of my story.

If you have not read the first part yet, you can do it here.

I quit the collage after 1.5 half years as I did not feel this could be the work I would want to do for the rest of my life. Well, let me just say that my parents were not happy at all when they discovered it. By that time I had already been dead sure that I did not want to live my life in my home town as it felt too small and provincial for me - I aspired for more. It was probably those trips to the capital as a kid that had planted the idea of me living there one day into my head. But I needed money to move there. So first I took up a job as a shop assistant in an independent, high street clothing and home decor shop where soon I was tasked with doing the shopwindow dressing as well. I saved up enough money so after another 1.5 years I took a deep breath and jumped...into the complete unknown. And moved to the capital.

I knew no one there, I had zero connection there. I was just a young, small town girl with big dreams managing her life on her own without any help, not even my parents' who felt pretty angry at me. I secured a waitress job with Pizza Hut and found a room to rent within record time and my next step was to find an interior design school to get qualified. This was around the early-mid 90s. What I had not known 4-5 years earlier was that things would significantly change in my country - transitioning from a communist country into a capitalist one. It was a very fast paced time with everything changing, transforming almost on a daily basis. As a matter of fact my parents idea of a 'secure and safe life-long job' pretty quickly went down the gutter.

Amongst all the new things was permitting and introducing private interior design schools. I picked one that seemed to be legit and quality providing a 2 year-long training. To my biggest surprise not only was I the youngest amongst the students but the only one without any previous professional experience. All the others were from the field of architect or interior architect taking up the opportunity of shifting career. I was a complete and total rookie there. They were all over 30 or even older, had been in the industry for long years if not decades and spoke a 'strange language' I could not really get as I did not know yet the lingo and slangs of the field. I felt like an outcast and I was struggling with an ongoing and severe confidence issue. I felt I was nowhere near to these people, I had no right to be there and pursuing the career of an interior designer as I was a 'nobody' and they all were much much better than I could ever be.

I somehow pushed myself through the 2 years - but I never officially graduated.

Which was a complete bullshit.

Because in the meantime I was lucky enough to get my very own property in the capital while still being fairly young, only 23 - a small flat in a block of flats on a residential estate. I was over the moon. Or as we say it in Hungary, as happy as a monkey about its tail. It seemed that my childhood dream I had fantasised about on that garage roof surrounded by those interior magazines was just about coming true.

It was this typical characterless, ugly, almost dysfunctionally small flat let down badly by the previous owner. Still, it was mine. I had little money to do it up but I had two brilliant parents who after a year forgave me for my 'ungrateful stunt' of quitting college and leaving the family home - a mom who found great enjoyment in home decoration and a dad who was an exceptionally skilful DIY person.

I was more than keen on doing all the design and decoration work with the help of my parents, including painting, wallpapering, turning the kitchen cupboard into a bookcase, recovering and updating my grandmom's old sofa, armchairs and side cabinet. Since the place was small I decided to open it up by removing the doors between the hallway and the living room, plus the hallway and the kitchen. Also we opened up the wall between the hallway and the living room by cutting out a 'window'. And once again I put my unqualified furniture design skill into use: I designed all the kitchen, dining and bedroom furniture - mainly built-in ones as I needed as much storage space as possible and smartly planned layout.

To visually keep the flat look bigger I decided to use the same wall colour throughout the hallway, living room and kitchen. And that colour was orange! While I painted the door and window frames dark blue. Now, if you are someone having some knowledge about colours you know that these two are opposite to each other on the colour wheel. Meaning they are complementary colours. Meaning when being put together they create a very vibrant, striking, energetic scheme and atmosphere. I still remember the people's faces when visiting my home for the first was a visual slap on their face to see this bold and vibrant colour scheme. Add to this that I opted for green wallpapering in the bathroom and a shade of crimson in the bedroom. Total colour feast. These days I more appreciate earthy, neutral shades and colour harmonies. I guess it is called ageing...

I got very discouraged after the design school experience as my self esteem suffered a great deal of damage. So I decided this was not for me and I changed direction in my career.

I obtained a master degree in cultural and event management and adult education and worked 12 years for marketing and event management agencies and community centres organising and participating in promotions, business and academic conferences, art exhibitions and fairs, cultural and musical festivals, fashion shows and different kind of adult educational programs.

Although life took me onto a different path, even during those years I stayed relatively close to design. Already in the late 90s I came across an interesting colour scheme concept called the Colour Season Theory. I got trained by back then the only official and professional Hungarian representative of the concept and I became a certified colour consultant. I went that far that I wrote my college essay about this theory, then my uni essay about the new and emerging fashion and interior stylist world in Hungary.

Then after an unexpected decision the new year of 2007 found me abroad. I signed up for a 14 month long volunteer program spending 6 + 2 months in Denmark and 6 months in Malawi. And right after the Boxing Day of 2008 I was on a plane flying to start another new life and job in China. And finally I landed here, in London in March 2010 and I have been living here ever since.

While living abroad in these very much different countries I have started to develop an interest in how we could design or re-design our life to find our purpose and live a positive and meaningful life as well as how we could attain this through shaping and designing our immediate, everyday environment, mainly our home.

This desire has led me to such techniques and concepts as ThetaHealing, Access Bars, Emotional Freedom Technique and Design Psychology.

I established my first business under the name of London Life Design offering help and advice to those expats, mainly for my fellow citizens, who wanted to learn coping techniques in order to adapt better to their new life and circumstances.

But that childhood fascination and dream of designing stylishly beautiful interiors has always stayed with me - so one day I connected the dots between self development and interior design.

Today Unexpected Living is as much about creating happy, inspirational and supportive homes as about transforming the lives of the people who live in those homes.

In my design approach it is not only the look and the design of a home I take into consideration and wish to improve but I see a home as a 'living and breathing entity' in harmony with those who live in there - how that home can contribute, shape and improve the quality of your life in every aspects.

With the recent changes covid has brought upon us forcing many people stay and / or to work from home I feel even more convinced that our home, our immediate every day environment plays a vital part in our general wellbeing and can be a great contributor - or a huge obstacle for that matter - to create a happy, balanced and successful life.

So, I am here to help you transform your home and life.

If you do not know where to start your journey, by all means, download your beautiful gift, the Home Harmony Starter Kit. This 20 page long booklet will help you become more aware of your space giving tips and ideas to build a stronger connection with your home.

Download your copy here now.

You can book a 15 minute long free discovery call or book an hour long informal chat with me where you can Ask Me Anything related to your design problem.

And if you feel ready to work with me have a look at here in what way I can help you.

Have a fab day,


Styling and Decorating - Express Yourself

You might have a newly purchased home that needs a full styling service or you already have the big pieces in place but the interior still lacks that "wow" factor and need some help with the smaller details.

Perhaps you just need a sort of design remix to refresh your space and give it a new look.

Or alternatively you are about to sell or rent your property and wish to make it more appealing and valuable for possible buyers and renters. 

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